Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Babel-on-the-Bay: Lessons from Simcoe North.

The Ontario Liberals did it to themselves last night. Premier Kathleen Wynne’s minions ran a pathetic campaign to let Ontario’s embarrassment have a seat in the legislature. Last we heard, Conservative Leader Patrick Brown had over 50 per cent of the votes cast in the Simcoe North by-election. It was not Ontario’s finest hour.

It was a foolish decision to have a provincial by-election during the over-stretched federal election. It was a weak and ill-considered campaign in a little understood electoral district. It was a Conservative spare-no-expense campaign versus small-town parsimony. It was a jogging mouth-breather against a jogging granny. (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Go home Paul Martin.

Nothing grates a left-leaning liberal more than Paul Martin that skinflint former finance minister and briefly prime minister. Once a friend, Paul became a non-person when Prime Minister Jean Chrétien gave him the finance portfolio. He built his reputation for balanced budgets on the backs of the poor, the unemployed, the sick and the elderly across Canada. He proved to one and all that he was no liberal.

It was an understandable situation. Growing up in the very political environment of his family’s home in Windsor and in Ottawa, Paul got away from left of centre politics and tried his (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: It is really about leadership Justin.

Being more of a contemporary of his father than of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, maybe we can be excused for offering him some advice. Yes Justin, you have answered those stupid attack ads on your youth from the Conservatives. You have launched an aggressive campaign against the failing regime of Stephen Harper. Your stand on ‘real change’ is to be applauded. You have addressed the core concerns of Canadian voters with your stand on behalf of the middle class.

But the key ingredient for winning is leadership. It is something that Mr. Mulcair of the New Democrats does not offer.

(Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Bearding a bully.

Canadians watched a bully get his comeuppance last night. There were no knock-out blows or deathbed repentances but some solid points were made. In balance, the Greens’ Elizabeth May looked good, the New Democrat’s Thomas Mulcair was stuffy, the Liberal’s Justin Trudeau showed strength and the Prime Minister kept saying “Let’s be clear,” when he really was not.

But why did it all look like an attempt at stand-up comedy at a funeral directors’ convention? Why were the men all in black suits with ties out of the Salvation Army bag? At least Elizabeth May could stand out in her (Read more…)

Canadian Psephos: Gaspésie Liberals Jump Ship! Trudeau Doomed? Clickbait headline!

It seems that eight out of ten executive members for the Liberal Electoral District Association (EDA) in the eastern Quebec riding of Gaspésie–Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine have left for the NDP.

So… what gives? You won’t get much from the online news sources that I’ve seen (except CBC), which only give the vague reasons of these rogue executives saying that the candidacy of Diane Lebouthillier has disenfranchised them on Liberal values, and saying the federal party sidelined their preferred candidate. Thus they decided to move over and support the New Democrats (who have the incumbent in the riding), and I (Read more…)

A BCer in Toronto: Election ad review: Ready (and repeating vs busting the narrative)

After months of the Conservatives carpet-bombing the air waves with an ad declaring Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau just not ready, the Liberals finally responded with an ad of their own yesterday: Ready.

While many initially dismissed the Conservative ad as lame and ineffective (as they have every ad they’ve released for a decade, only to later concede they were devastatingly effective) I immediately saw it as a very effective piece because it zeroed it on a doubt most Canadians already have: is Trudeau ready to be Prime Minister? Very smart was the line at the end — I’m not saying (Read more…)

A BCer in Toronto: Confusing Canadians about coalitions to score political points

We hear a lot about coalitions these days, and it seems clear there’s a bit of confusion out there about what it means and just what the post-election options for cooperation are – confusion likely deliberately spread by the NDP. I was canvassing in Scarborough the other day. It’s a riding that was Liberal for many years, until 2011 when the NDP took enough Liberal vote for the Conservatives to win with little growth in vote. And they’re trying hard for a repeat. I knocked on the door of a woman who told me she had voted Liberal all her (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Left, Right or Liberal?

One of the best—and funniest—opeds we have read for a while was by Susan Delacourt of the Toronto Star. Susan’s first premise in her article (Liberals must win the middle…July 25) was that there are too many communications people in the Liberal Party. She then segues into a discourse on whether the Liberal Party is even necessary. She gives the party a pass but notes that it has to determine if it takes the middle road through principle or pragmatism.

We will take it as something of a back-handed compliment that Susan recognizes the communications expertise that the Liberal Party (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Eglinton-Lawrence is the place to be today.

It all comes down to the wire today in what will be one of the most hotly contested Toronto ridings in the October federal election. It is widely assumed by politicos that whoever the riding Liberals pick as their candidate will become the next Member of Parliament. The dour Conservative incumbent Joe Oliver has failed as Finance Minister and has little excuse for his poor performance.

What is very important to remember today is that Eve Adams, who was the Conservative MP from Mississauga jumped from the Harper Conservatives to the Trudeau Liberals in February 2015. The move was more (Read more…)

Politics Canada: Trudeau’s blunt rejection of coalition will cost the Liberals more support

Justin Trudeau’s blunt rejection of the idea of a coalition will cost the Liberals more support I predict. There are several people in the country who sincerely believe that Harper must be removed from power at all costs and will do whatever it takes to make that happen. The fact that the NDP is first in the polls mean that people will move their votes there in greater numbers now that a vote for the Liberals could mean more Harper government albeit a minority one.

Trudeau’s biggest mistakes, his support for C-51 and now his rejection of a coalition both (Read more…)

Politics Canada: The Liberals need a plan, an emergency plan

The Liberals needed a strategy a long time ago. That is a long-term strategy, they needed it when Mr Dion took the helm, again with Ignatief and of course with Trudeau.

The main strategy the Liberals need is a way to deal with the ferocious relentless Karl Rove Conservative attack ads. A way to deal with the extreme discipline of the Reform Conservatives. Harper’s dream is to destroy the Liberal Party of Canada, and he would like nothing more than to do it while Trudeau is at the helm. The Harper Conservatives dream is a two party system, with the (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Do Conservatives consider Justin Trudeau dangerous?

While most Canadians simply laugh off the silly “Trudeau’s not ready” commercials playing with increasing intensity on English-language television, there is another more layered campaign underlying it. This more insidious campaign is spreading through social media and says that Trudeau is ‘dangerous.’ If you have not received the core threats of this campaign, it is probably because you do not fit the demographics.

If you are not a rabid right-to-life supporter, you would not be included in the outrageous campaign against Trudeau for his stance on women’s rights. Not content to pillory the Liberal leader for his condoning abortion, (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Knowing how Ches Crosby feels.

The one thing people in Newfoundland can count on is politicians who rattle the cage. From the late Premier Joey Smallwood and others since, we have always expected controversy and salty comments from Island politicians. Ches Crosbie, a St. John’s lawyer, has been in the news lately for being refused the Conservative nomination in Avalon riding by Prime Minister Harper. What makes matters worse was that Ches was the only volunteer who wanted the nomination there.

But you have to remember that Ches is the son of John Crosbie, the irascible former Finance Minister in the short-lived Joe Clark cabinet (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: First lessons in the environment.

It hardly matters at what age young men have their first camping experience. The most common first lesson is to never pee into the campfire. Not only is that a part of your body that should never get singed but urine on an open fire smells terrible. This lesson occurred to us when reading the Toronto Star’s Thomas Walkom’s take on Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s announcement on a Liberal environmental policy. He should not have panned young Trudeau’s first steps in such uncharted waters.

In fact, that speech by the Liberal leader was pretty damn good for baby steps! Give (Read more…)

Scott's DiaTribes: John McCallum visits #Brantford #Brant again, Danielle Takacs Community Office officially open!

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a lot of activity happening this past Friday and Saturday in Brantford-Brant where my friend Danielle Takacs is running. On Friday, the Honourable John McCallum came down to the riding to spend a half day with Danielle greeting people and talking to them at the Via Rail Train Station about the Fairness plan. This was the 2nd visit by Mr. McCallum in the past 3 months in support of Danielle and the local campaign. We were also joined by former Brant MP Lloyd St. Amand at the Station. They then proceeded to (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The media feel the excitement.

Just about four months to the federal election and the news media can barely contain their excitement. Not since John Diefenbaker came out of the West like an avenging angel has an election been so fraught with possibilities. They have so many scenarios to write about. Change is in the air. Change is in all the Liberal and New Democrat speaking notes. The Conservatives just look worried.

And well they should. With two serious and challenging opposition parties poised to unseat them, the Conservatives should be questioning their strategy. They know that if the balance is maintained between the opposition (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: One of Justin Trudeau’s better moves.

It makes sense to make nice with the United States. It is surprising for many Canadians when that becomes necessary. Not since Prime Minister John Diefenbaker pissed off President John Kennedy have relations with the Americans been more in the dumpster. Not only has Prime Minister Stephen Harper been a nag about the Keystone XL pipeline but his open admiration for President Obama’s Republican opponents in Congress has hardly gone unnoticed.

The phony bonhomie played out between Harper and Obama at G-8/G-7 meetings has been shallow and forced for some time. Sure there have been other tiffs between the two (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Canadians are owed answers on the Senate.

Do you have a mental image of the three major party leaders cowering in their campaign bunkers this year afraid of questions on the Senate? They will all tell you that they are in favour of Senate reform and just what that reform might entail and how they will accomplish the task are the questions they are afraid to answer.

Stephen Harper had been stiff arming questions about the Senate since his record of 27 appointments to the chamber in 2009. Yet the other day in Kiev, he said that the Senate was an independent body. And if you believe (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Justin Trudeau brought his perfect game.

When somebody bowls a perfect game, you have to admire it. In politics a perfect game is a rare event. You have to remember that in politics there are people out there who are lurking to ridicule, there are professional scoffers and there are the people paid to deride any and all suggestions from the opposition parties. And then you are treated worse by our news media.

All these people will attempt to ridicule, scoff, and laugh off Liberal suggestions but this time they will fail. They will have to fall back on commenting that the Liberal leader’s hair was (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Hair’s hopes in Quebec are fading.

The pundits are catching on. There are a paucity of votes for the Hair and his party among voters in Quebec. Mind you, there are even fewer for the Bloc. This fall in Quebec, it will be a head to head contest between the Liberals and New Democrats. The other votes are just spoilers. And do you think Quebec voters are not conscious of the position they are in?

Quebec, more than any other province in Canada, wants change. The province wants to get out of the Conservative yoke that it put on when it voted for the Orange Wave (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: It’s not in the cards for Tom Mulcair.

Whether you prefer to use a crystal ball, tarot cards, automated telephone calls or the entrails of a sheep, forecasting the results of the fall federal election in Canada at this early stage is a waste of time. And making up stories about New Democrat Leader Thomas Mulcair being the likely game changer is a joke. The recent win by the Alberta NDP was nothing other than good news for Albertans.

The pundits should remember that the Alberta Liberals all but bowed out of the provincial election. Albertans, desperate for a second opinion had no other option. The NDP offered (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Should we be taxing the rich 1% more?

Louis-Philippe Rochon

Associate Professor, Laurentian Economics

Founding Co-Editor, Review of Keynesian Economics

Follow him on Twitter @Lprochon

 

Originally published by CBC. Find commentary here.

 

The federal Liberal Party’s recent election promise to create a new tax bracket for rich Canadians has been quickly decried by – well, rich Canadians. But is it an appropriate and sensible approach to fiscal policy? The answer is unequivocal: yes.

Understandably, Conservatives have been equally quick to denounce the proposal, calling it ‘Trudeau’s tax.’

Mr. Trudeau should not shy away from this epithet, but rather wear it proudly.

Yet Mr. Trudean’s idea (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Building a better Bill Blair?

It seems that Bill Blair hopes to be forgiven almost everything. The former Toronto police chief is now a politician. And federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has officially welcomed Blair to the Liberal fold. Trudeau was actually reported by the media as saying: “I’m not going to Monday-morning-quarterback decisions made five years ago by the chief of police.”

It makes you wonder how time has relieved Chief Bill Blair of responsibility for his failure in leadership, control and responsibility on that infamous G-20 weekend?

And just how does the racist carding by his police qualify him for Canada’s (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Bearing bad news for NDP’s Tom Mulcair.

George Lakoff is an American who thinks. The UCLA Berkeley professor was in Toronto last week. We missed a chance to meet him. He is reported to have told his audience there is no such thing as the political centre. That must have been bad news for the New Democrats who came to see him. Their federal Leader Tom Mulcair has been busy trying to find the political centre and in the process he has lost touch with the left. Lakoff could have told him that the centre is just a hypothetical point on a bell curve, drawn by statisticians.

(Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Goodbye Bill Blair: You failed us.

Toronto has not lost a police chief. It has gained freedom. It has left an era of bad policing behind. It has new opportunities for better policing. It has new opportunities for discouraging crime, fewer gangs, fewer guns, easing of trouble spots and better relations between the police and the people they serve and protect.

Bill Blair has left police headquarters. He no longer held sway with the police services board. His services were no longer needed. He remained unindicted for the fiasco of the G-8. He remained intransigent on carding. That fancy uniform is committed to the closet of (Read more…)